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jenvan

Any "home-canners" Out There?

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Guest gfinnebraska

Jen ~ It was my son I moved out... Adam is 20; Antony 18; Hannah 8. :)

He is SO ready to be on his own... and cheaper than room/board at college!! Bonus!!! He is very strong and independent. I am very proud of the man he has become. :D

I love my flowers... I plant all perennials except my "signature flower" ~ Gerbera daisies. LOVE those! I plant hostas, day lilies, tiger lilies, columbine, sweet william, daisies, and other things that are pretty but I don't know the name! :blink: I also love mini trees. I have a weeping cherry, weeping mulberry, verigated willow ~ and my newest addition: a hydrangea tree!! Yes, blue flowers and all. :) It is suppose to reach 18 feet high. It is only about 3 feet now, but it is green and looking healthy!! Our house is an old one built on a big foundation ~ so I made raised flower beds all the way around it with landscaping blocks.

My sewing machine is a Singer. Old but faithful. :)

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Guest BellyTimber

:P

Until 6 years ago I lived in lodgings with a lady who grew vegetables and fruits.

her cooking apples were called something or other Wonder and came evry two years and were green orange and pink coloured with a smell to match and winderfully multidimensionally flavoured when baked with a little honey and raisins.

There were raspberries and loganberries, the latter truly fabulous, rarely got as far as a plate!

I used to fork compost into the trenches for tomatoes and swwetcorn and runner beans.

She liked her tomatoes what I would call "far gone", dark red and falling to pieces, I tried to persuade this was a waste, I find them at their best that intense orangey colour with the sun seeming to shine out of them as much as it does into them and the most incredible smell and of course warm to the touch before you pull them off the plant.

A couple of giant courgettes would grow on the compost heap each year, delicious stuffed with minced beef.

She grew her own onions which would smell the garage out, stored in their baskets!

Her potatoes tasted of chestnuts, boiled or roasted.

She didn't like cabbages but one of my prouder achievements was to educate her into cutting them in late winter or spring when they are oh so wonderful rather than grow about sixty feet tall and woody and scrawny flowers, I don't know what she was trying to achieve with that!!!

When salad was served I used to say "where's the beetroot" so after that she planted two rows every year, when one row would be ample because she doesn't touch it (and she thinks fish is just for cats - I learned a lot about cats in those years as well).

:rolleyes:

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Shirley-- I may try the dish soap/water combo for aphids. Does it work on other bugs too? I meant to take a few of the ones I've got in the garden to a nursery to find out what they are... But it rained all weekend! And porch and basement are leaking--porch is all wet :huh:

Kimberly-- It's great to hear how proud you are of the man your son has become. I'm sure you were a huge factor in that ! Gerbera daises are probably my favorite fresh flower to get! Your hydrangea tree sounds amazing! I'll have to look it up on the internet. I drove past a house this weekend that had huge hydrangea plants in their front yard--a ton of them in blue, pink and white. They were beautiful.

Michael-- Cool memories of the woman you lived with... Courgette--like zucchini ? Interesting on the onions. Hmmm, wonder where I will store them. I had thought in the basement--but my husband probably wouldn't like it if it stinks up the house! :blink:

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Guest Viola

Jen, I use soap and water on quite a few insects. We have a black and red squash type bug that gets on the lilacs and a few other plants, it works on them as well, and also alphalpha weavels (sp). They are tiny hard shelled light grey beetles, they hit my planters a lot, so it's soap and water for them too. Also consider it for spit bugs on your strawberries and raspberries. If it's gluten free, it's a very safe alternitive to insecticides. :rolleyes:

If you are storing onions, we put them in washed used nylon stockings. That keeps them separate, instead of piling them on top of one another, lets the air pass all around them and they last quite a long time. We are still eating last years onions, although there is only two left. But the new ones are already good for green onions :P We just hang the stockings from nails. I wouldn't think they would smell that bad in the garage, as you leave the brown outside skin on them. Just leave about an inch of 'top' on them and about 1/4 inch of root, so you are not actually cutting into the onion bulb. Then there is very little smell. Also ... pick them on a warm dry day and let them dry before storing.

:)

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Great tips on the onions Shirley. Hmmm--the new bugs I have in my garden are black and red too. Not sure if we are in the same kind-of climate to have the same bug...but they are all over. I can't tell if there are two different ones or if the mostly black ones, which are larger, are the matured bug...

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Guest Viola

:lol: Jen, the way to tell if they are squash type bugs is to squish one. They will stink something awful :ph34r:

I think I would try the dish soap and water on just about any bug to start. It is safe and cheap, if that doesn't help, then you may need to go to more drastic measures. Unfortunately, I know the soap/water doesn't work on earwigs :angry: Haven't yet come up with a good answer for them yet.

BTW ... beer kills slugs. put a bit of beer in a saucer and put the saucer near the plants that are being eaten by slugs. The slugs are drawn to the malt smell and drown. Hmmm, perhaps they should learn to go gluten free huh? :lol:

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Shirley-

I think I owe you one. I looked online and my bugs look very similar to squash bugs. Haven't found a pic that has the same coloring exactly, but the shape is the same. I can't wait to go home and try spraying those *#&$ !!

Slugs--every year we wil get a few mutantly huge slugs--like larger around than my thumb and longer than the span of my fingers. Ewww ! :blink:

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am I being a dork here?

I think we're all being dorks on this one :lol:

To get rid of slugs leave a shallow pan filled with beer out. They will be attracted by the beer and drown in it.

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Shirley-

Great tip on the soap. I weeded for an hour and a half last night, then got out the soapy water spray. I sprayed two bugs head on and they died instantly. Man--what's in my soap?! Oh, and after I sprayed, my garden smelled nice and clean :D

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Guest Viola

Not to worry Jen, it's the oil in soap that clogs the breathing mechanism of insects. It's actually like drowning I should think. It is very effective :D

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Well, Shirley...bad news for me. As I was mulching last night, I noticed a hole in one of my banana peppers. (Man that makes me so mad !) So, I opened it up to see the offender, and it was an earwig! I thought of you and said 'oh no!' The only thing I have read re: earwigs is to try and trap them. How effective and easy can that be?? I may have to break out some spray. We'll see.... :(

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Hmmm...but now I am trying to decide if I have pepper weevels. this is all so confusing. I think I'm going to have to bag a few bugs and take them up to the nursery.... :huh:

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Guest Viola

Okay, this is what we have done for earwigs. Put a board down (only about a foot or two long) on damp ground near plants. Everyday lift the board and spray the earwigs with Raid. It doesn't stop all of them, but does slow them down in numbers. They really tend to hit things like corn, clamatis and any leafy veggies. They do hide under the board during the day and eat at night. :angry:

Sure hope that helps you a bit. If you have weevels, they are tiny and usually stay on the plant even in daylight, so you can pick them off and squish them, if there isn't too many. Careful with spray if you have pets.

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Guest Leidenschaft

Okay, I see this started out as canning, and now you guys have gotten "buggy"!!! :angry: GROSS!!! :blink:;)

I spent a wonderful week at home last week, and put up 10 quarts of Chili and 12 quarts of Spaghetti Sauce in my pressure canner! It's so much easier to heat a jar rather than defrost and then heat from the freezer! I also did about 300 meatballs for the freezer to add to spaghetti and sauce! :rolleyes: Mouth is watering thinking of it! :D

The whole process took me about three days... lots of time for simmering, and of course pressure canning is more time consuming than water baths! But so worth it come cold winter days after a 16 hour day at work! :blink:

Unfortunately, my home computer maintenance took more time than I planned so I did not have a chance to do any cross stitching! Still settling into the new house, unpacking, hanging shelves, pictures etc.... Also the weather is still nice that I want to spend time outdoors on this beautiful property we have!

My husband Ron and I had huge gardens when we lived on the West coast, however we also opperated our business from our home. We had the time for them. We also did a lot of canning, dills, beets, our famous "B.C. Berry Jam" that has four different berries in it! YUM! I've also pressure canned Beef Stew, Chicken/Turkey soup, and Borscht (sp?) a Russian/Ukranian soup! Mmmmm! :D

This canning I did last week was my first in about 4 years! I was a bit aprehensive at first, but it's like riding a bike, only less painful! :D

Happy Homemaking everyone!

PS, MOM, don't talk about earwigs!!! You know they give me the creeps! :angry:

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Tammy-

Its so great to see this thread up again. I really enjoyed it! Congrats on your latest canning adventure. Chili is a GREAT idea! I try and make several pots full in the fall--hoping enough to last through winter. White for me, regular for the hubby. However, canning a batch might be worth it. If I had the means I would and can as much food as I could. I get tired of thawing things out!

A few weeks ago I put up four cases of homemade, no-sugar-added applesauce. My dad is great, he comes over and helps out with the labor :) We like to do things like that together. So, with his help it only took 6 hours for 75ish lbs of apples.

You said pressure cooking is more involved than water bath. Can you say more on this? I was thinking pressure canning would be faster than a water bath b/c the times are always shorter. I was considering buying one... I am a little sentimental with my canning pot though. It is the one my grandma used when she canned :)

So you have a lot of property? What is it like?

Earwigs freak me out too. bleh! I am going to ask for an organic gardening book for Christmas next year and really go full force with the organic approach to gardening. There were some weird illnesses amongst the plants this year though. I had some tomatoes and sweet peppers that looked perfect on the outside, but the inside would have mold on them. Anyone ever get that??

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Guest Leidenschaft

Before I forget.... to ANY garden, add Predatory Nematodes!!! They are good bugs that eat ALL bad bugs and leave the good ones alone. They are cheap, safe, easy to use and they reproduce! They are quite amazing! Ask your local garden shop, or order from many garden/seed supply companies! You'll never have to use pesticides!

Re: Pressure Canning.... with any low acid or meat based food you MUST pressure can, unless you LIKE food poisoning! :blink: For my Spaghetti Sauce and Chili I can for 30 minutes at 10 psi. With pressure canning you must allow your water to come to full boil and steam off for 10 minutes to ensure that once pressurized there won't be any cold spots. Then you have to bring the pot to pressure (3-5 minutes) and maintain that pressure (constant supervision!!) for the proper time.

My hubby found this link for me to refresh my memory on using the canner. Since I bought it used I don't have instructions for it! I found this info really helpful! I would highly recommend the All American Pressure Canner, at least the 921 or bigger! They are very well built, made in Wisconsin. They have a geared pressure guage too! The 921 model and larger allow you to do 2 layers of pint jars, and I can do four 1.5 qt jars at a time. That's the size I like to use for soups, stews, chili etc.

Re: Property... we are blessed to live on 100 acres of flat, dry, useable land in the beautiful community of Gagetown, New Brunswick. Our good friends bought the place for their retirement in three years time. We will rent it from them until that time. The house is a 13 yr. old log home, 2 story with full basement. Wood/Electric heat, open concept. The land is amazing, 6 acres cleared, perfect for training our dogs on! There is also a stocked trout pond and hunting camp. Also three beaver dams that are occupied. We enjoy birdwatching and feeding the squirrels which love to tease the dogs at the patio door! :P The property is off a secondary highway, so not too much traffic or noise, also very private! The only downside is the 40 minute drive to work every day. Not that I mind the drive, it's very therapeutic after a hectic day, but with gas prices what they are.... :unsure: Anyway, it's a little slice of heaven, and I will enjoy it while I have it!

Hope you find the canning and nematode info helpful! :D

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ew--i think i was confusing on my last post. i was thinking you meant pressure canning to be where you use a pressure cooker to process your jars...and a water bath as when you just process your jars in an open water bath pot. does that make sense? i definitely process my jars !!! huh, maybe it isn't much faster one way or another since the pressure cooker time is usually less for processing, but you have to allow the cooker to cool and release in between batches.

thanks for the great info on nematodes. i'll definitely seek those out next year.

the property sounds amazing! enjoy it while you have it!

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I still haven't done my official canning. I have just been busy all summer - I meant to start small with some freezer jams and go from there.

But I have been making big batches of soup on the weekends - cream of broccoli, spinach or whatever else, and pouring it still hot into the jars, putting the lids on and sticking in the fridge. Makes a good seal. I usually eat them during the week so I'm not storing them long term. But I have been having some delicious soup at work lately! Tastes better than leftovers in tupperware...

Also been making some dairy-free pesto with basil from the garden and farmers market. Yum!!!

Steph

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Steph-

Do you have a recipe for your homemade pesto?

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Jen - not really. I just jam as much fresh basil as I can into my food processor, add olive oil and blend. Then I toss in a few garlic cloves, taste, then add salt. Add oil until it's the right consistency. Then I toss in some walnuts (usually don't have pine nuts, and I have a friend who is allergic - who knows, maybe she'll come over sometime and we'll have pesto?)

My aunt makes it about the same but adds parsley. I grew some this year but it is very wimpy so haven't added it.

I put it in smaller jars and freeze. I just found some in the freezer I made last year and broke it out - still tasted good!

Love the freezer... might have to get a separate one now.

Stephanie

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Steph-

"Oh Yeah" on the freezer girl... We bought a separate upright not long after my diagnosis. It didn't take me long to fill that baby up!

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I'm new to this thread, so heregoes:

First, Go Kimberly and Shirley!!!!! Since I haven't been able to work, I've been able to pick back up on sewing, cooking, canning, etc. I also have an herb garden which I started last year that is fluorishing now! Going along with the grose stuff, I also have a worm farm so I can use the "tea" for fertilizer and the compost to boost the soil. I'm going to try crabapple jam for the first time next week, but mostly because my husband really likes it. It doesn't sound that great to me! I am thinking wistfully about having acreage and your trees -- I grew up eating raspberries and blackberries off the vine when I was little -- my fingers were stained each year all season long! Don't have many helpful hints past what the experts have already passed along -- you guys are GOOD!

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tired of doctors--

hey! welcome to the topic...this is still one of my favs :) i think i will be ripping up the garden in the next few weeks... may take the last of the summer veggies on the vine and pull together some salsa... here comes fall!

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Guest Viola

Garden is in here. Potatoes, carrots and onions all in the cold room and peas in the freezer, fruit in jars. Still picking a few fall raspberries ... just enough for desert every third day or so :P I have lots in the freezer for making smoothies though. We have three kinds of raspberrries, one that produces very early, one summer producer and fall raspberries that produce until the temperature gets below -5 C. (23 F). That's my favourite one as it's nice to have those bright red and some gold raspberries when all the leaves are brightly coloured. And they are so yummy! Yes ... we have two gold ones as well, a summer producer and the fall ones are bigger :D

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Shirley those sound great! are the r. berries difficult to grow? ever try straw or blueberries? I had a heck of a time with my onions this year. What might you think to be the problem if they grow very little--are not very large? Problem with roots? Too much water?

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